.A woman prefers a more masculine man when she is fertile and looking for a fling rather than a mate for life, according to recent research the value that women place on masculinity changes with context and with women’s reproductive cycles and immediate goals. Previous research has shown that women view facial masculinity—square jaws and well-defined brow ridges—as good characteristics for short-term partners, while more feminine traits are perceived as better for long-term mates.
Anthony Little of the University of Sterling found that women during ovulation tend to be significantly more attracted to guys with especially strong masculine features. They are more likely to have this preference if they consider themselves to be more attractive and if they are looking for a short-term fling.
Masculinity could be “sexy for the same reason that the peacock's tail is sexy,” was an interpretation given by UCLA researcher Dave Frederick, who commented on but was not involved in this research directly. “Only males in good condition can generate these traits,” because they require a great deal of energy and can only be sustained in healthy individuals," he explained.
Men with hard bodies and sculpted jaws may there fore have better genes for producing better babies, so it would make sense for fertile women to be attracted to them.
More strongly manifested masculine features signal higher levels of testosterone; and this might be a precursor to these guys being more likely to stray from the marital (or other) bed. This would make them more risky choices for a woman desirous of a long-term, stable relationship.
By way of contrast, men with less stridently masculine features tend to be seen as better long-term risks. Research suggests that men who are less masculine tend to invest more in relationships, making them more appealing to women who are at the least fertile points in their menstrual cycle—a hormonal profile that mimics that of pregnancy, when mate investment in the relationship is crucial.